Lafayette County Manuscript Collections

Lafayette County was organized in 1820 as Lillard County. The name was changed to Lafayette in 1825. The county seat is Lexington. These collections deal in some manner with Lafayette County, Missouri. This list is not comprehensive, so be sure to browse Manuscript Collections by subject.

*Collections marked with DIGITIZED MATERIALS have additional digitized items available.

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Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service Aerial Photographs, (P0335)
107.5 linear feet
Missouri county aerial photographs produced by the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service.

Alexander, Katherine Memory Book (CA6511)
0.1 cubic feet (1 folder)
Memory book kept by a student at Central College for Women in Lexington, Missouri, 1916-1917.

American Revolution Bicentennial, Missouri Committee for Agriculture, Papers, 1974-1976 (C4276)
1.2 cubic feet (42 folders), 1 audio tape
The papers of the committee contain correspondence, newsletters, reports, updates, events awards programs, lists of elected members, historical information on "Centennial Farms," and "Liberty Trees," meeting minutes, announcements, newspaper clippings, and audio-visual material for a slide presentation entitled "The Spirit of 76."

Anderson House, Lexington, Missouri, Architectural Drawings, n.d., (C0818)
1 folder
Map showing location, plot plan, and portion of Civil War Battle of Lexington State Park; basement and floor plans; interior and exterior details; north, south, east, and west elevations; sections; and profiles. Documentation was undertaken as part of Historic American Buildings Survey under direction of U.S. National Park Service, Branch of Plans and Design, with Kenneth E. Coombs, architect.

Aull Family Business Records, 1839-1869, (C3039)
8 volumes on microfilm
The collection contains record books of Robert Aull and John Aull, two early businessmen of Lexington, MO. Records of Robert Aull's store in Lexington, 1839-1840; his personal finances and banking operations, 1842-1858. Books from John Aull's general store in Lexington, 1854-1869.

Aull, James ( -1847), Daybook, 1841-1842, (C3043)
1 roll of microfilm
Entries on merchandise received and sold in James Aull's store in Lexington, Missouri. Related collections include 592, 3038, and 3039.


Baker, J.H.P. ( -1913), Civil War Diary, 1864-1865, (C1449)
1 volume
The diary of J.H.P. Baker, dated October 16, 1864-June 17, 1865, discusses the war in Missouri, Price's retreat, the Southern cause, Lee, Johnston, Beauregard, Price, Shelby, Sherman, guerrillas, Lee's surrender, Lincoln's assassination, and Johnson's inauguration. Baker, a doctor with General Shelby, was in charge of a Texas Confederate hospital.

Bell, Leslie H., Photographs, (P0723)
9 photographs
Photos of Lexington, MO, historic buildings, ca. 1959.

Bingham, Loretta, Photograph Collection, (P1003)
2 photographs
Photographs of students from Odessa High School and students from Starr School with their prize winning patriotic float

Blue River Baptist Association Record Book, 1834-1850, (C1303)
1 volume
Records of the Blue River Baptist Association of Jackson, Johnson, and Lafayette Counties, MO, with abstract of principles, form of government, rules of decorum, and minutes of meetings of the association, including statistical records of members, evangelists' reports, and executive committee minutes.

Boulware, W.C. Letter, 1861, (C1959)
1 folder
To Family from Lexington, MO, Sept. 28, 1861. Letter describing the battle of Lexington, in which the author participated, and its aftermath.

Bowring, Charles M., Papers, 1819-1922, (C3547)
2 folders
The papers of Charles M. Bowring contain Bowring's diary recording events in Wellington, MO, from 1819 through 1898, and poems which he wrote on many subjects.

Breckenridge, William Clark (1862-1927), Papers, 1752-1927, (C1036)
4.75 linear feet, 21 volumes, 3 rolls of microfilm
The papers of the St. Louis businessman, writer, and historian contain correspondence, scrapbooks, book sale announcements, and miscellaneous materials, with an emphasis on St. Louis and Missouri history.

Brouster, George Washington, (1830-1887), Letters, 1850-1851, (C1832)
1 folder
Letters written by Brouster to his family in St. Louis County, MO, while on an overland trip to the California gold fields in 1850 and while mining for gold in various parts of California.

Brown, Robert C., Photograph Collection, (P0004)
51 photographs
Photographs of Missouri railroad depots, primarily for the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad. Photographs relating to A.F. Schliecker of Kansas City, Missouri.


Carter, R.C., A Short Sketch of My Experiences During the First Stages of the Civil War, (C2911)
1 folder
The collection contains a memoir describing experiences of a Confederate lieutenant. He includes the battles of the Hemp Bales, Wilson's Creek, Pea Ridge, and Boonville in his reminiscences.

Carter-McDade Family, Papers, (CA6471)
1.75 cubic feet
Family papers and genealogical material of the Carter, McDade, and related families largely of the Sedalia and Waverly, Missouri, areas collected by Marguerite Carter McDade.

Central College for Women (Lexington, Mo.) Records (C4387)
1 cubic foot (33 folders and 5 oversize items)
Records of a Methodist women's college consisting of photographs, minutes of the Board of Trustees meetings, event programs, and financial and administrative records documenting the college’s building construction projects in the 19th century through its financial decline and closure in the 1920s.

Coombs, Kenneth E., Papers, (CA5865)
5 linear feet
Project files of a Kansas City architect related to historic restoration projects in Missouri. Includes correspondence, photographs, survey material, planning documents, financial records, and architectural drawings, 1960s-1970s.

Copus, Phyllis Miller, Collection, (CA6286)
4 cubic feet
Genealogy and other family history materials, both printed and video, from the Howell, Holden, Shutt, and Sandifer families, of Dallas, Jackson, Cass, and Lafayette County, Missouri. The collection also includes the Margie Ellis Howell Papers, a collection acquired by Copus after Howell’s death. These papers include information on the Ellis, Howell, Parkes, Perry, and Hammonds families of Missouri.

Corder Livery Stable Photograph, (P0347)
1 photograph
Corder Livery Stable, men and boys standing in front of stable with horses and carriages.

Corder-Thomas Family, Papers, 1867-1961, (C3697)
56 volumes and 9 folders on 11 rolls of microfilm, 1 oversize folder
The Corder-Thomas Family Papers consist of diaries of Leslie Walker Corder, a Waver-ly, Missouri, farmer and civic leader; his wife Nellie Perry Buck Corder; and her aunt Susan Buck Cooper Thomas. The papers also include family letters, newsclippings, and miscellaneous items.

Cowan, Nancy, Photograph Collection, (P0274)
6 postcards
Six postcards from 1916 showing images of the British Remount Depot in Lathrop, Missouri.


Davis, H.K., Statement, 1864, (C1816)
1 folder
Bill for printing election notice in the LEXINGTON WEEKLY UNION, September 10 through November 5, 1864, and stating that it had been done.

DiScala, Anthony Graham, Photograph Collection, (P0724)
2 photographs
Copy photos of Aullville Public School, 1911-1912


Early, T.R., Store Journal, 1896, (C3194)
1 folder
The collection contains pages from the records of a dealer in lumber and hardware in Lexington, MO, dealing with Albert Young's account.


Fike, Henry C., (1832-1919), Diaries, 1851-1919, (C2215)
0.1 linear feet, 43 volumes
Diaries written by Fike while a student in McKendree College, IL; while a soldier in the Civil War; and about his migration to and life in Warrensburg, MO, and his work in Kansas City, MO, and various cities in the West.

Fitzpatrick, James M., Letters, 1848-1857, (C2711)
2 folders
Twenty-one letters to and from James Fitzpatrick of Lexington, KY, concerning family news, the California gold rush, farming, and cholera epidemic.

Frazee, Douglas R. (1925-2014), Photographs, ca. 1880-1985, (P0072)
0.25 linear feet
Photographs of the Missouri River and life on the towboat Brownville, 1963-1985 by Frazee, an engineer on the vessel. Photos of Marshall, MO, 1948-1950, and Marthasville, MO, area in the early 1900s. Aerial photographs of Saline County, Marshall, Brookfield, and Pettis County, 1946-1949. Aerial photographs of farms and buildings along Highways 20, 24, 41 in Saline and Lafayette Counties, ca. 1947. Also include a variety of images of Missouri scenes and Missourians.

Friends of Sacred Structures Records, (K1370)
5 cubic feet
The records of Friends of Sacred Structures documents, photographs, and notebooks related to religious structures assisted by FOSS, covering the period 1991 through 2015. The records also include materials related to locations targeted by the organization for assistance as well as board, council, and committee records.


Gilliam, Charles Wesley, Diary, 1856-1876, (C3272)
4 folders
Daily account of a Lincoln County, MO, farmer's life. Marriages and deaths, activities of friends and relatives, election returns, prices paid for household goods, farm life, and Civil War experience.

Gladish, Cora S., Papers, (CA5818)
1 cubic foot
Sheet music of compositions written and published by Cora Gladish of Higginsville, Missouri, related correspondence, biographical information, watercolors, photographs, and miscellaneous material. Also includes diaries of Ann Eliza Gladish and miscellaneous Gladish family material.

Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Collection, n.d., (C3391)
1.5 cubic feet, 5 card boxes
Card file compiled by Sarah Guitar, reference librarian of the State Historical Society of Missouri, as a guide to county boundaries of Missouri, 1812-1929; Missouri congressional district boundaries, 1845-1933; Missouri senatorial districts, 1820-1931; and Missouri judicial circuits, 1815-1915.


Hamilton, Mrs. Henry W., Collection, 1838-1924, (C1840)
4 folders
Checks, deeds, promissory notes, and invoices, primarily of residents of Lafayette County, MO. Lafayette County election returns, 1844 and 1860.

Hockaday, Isaac, Letters, 1861, (C2728)
1 folder
The collection contains letters from a Lexington, MO, farmer to his mother, describing the battle of Lexington, September 1861.


James, David A. (1937- ) Papers, 1790-2008, (C4126)
5 cubic feet
The research material of a hotel management instructor whose work resulted in the publication Historic Hotels of Missouri: Hotels, Inns, and Taverns of 19th Century Missouri.

Jones, Lester, Photograph Collection, (P0547)
3 photographs
Photos of churches in Lexington, MO.


King General Store, Oak Grove, Missouri, Account Book, 1888-1893, (C4313)
0.2 cubic feet (1 folder)
The records of a general store owned by John and Abigail King in Oak Grove, Missouri. The accounts were kept by their son, Herbert King. An index is included.


Lauck, Jesse F., Architectural Records, (K0730)
18.37 cubic feet (6 folders, 158 rolled items)
The Jesse F. Lauck Architectural Records consists of correspondence, site surveys, specifications, microwave relay tower information, floor plans for the Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California, and test data on the First Baptist Church in Richmond, Missouri. The collection also contains 158 sets of architectural drawings, primarily designed by Lauck and his firm, of buildings located in the Kansas City metropolitan area and throughout the Midwest region of the United States. These drawings date from 1919 to 1971.

Lee, Richard L. (1925-2011), County Courthouse Photographs, ca. 1955, (P0003)
210 photographs
The collection includes photographs of county courthouses for the state of Missouri, taken in the mid-twentieth century by Richard L. Lee.

Lexington Business Records, Lexington, Missouri, 1831-1869, (C4311)
2.0 cubic feet (12 folders), 1 oversize volume
The records of banks and other businesses in Lexington, Missouri, contain Account Books, Day Books, Letter Books, Statement Books, Protest of Payment Books, Copy Books, Minute Books, and Bills of Lading.

Lexington Presbyterian Church Record Book, 1839-1851, (C3352)
1 volume
The collection contains a record book from the Lexington Presbyterian Church listing original and new members; elders; births; deaths; baptisms, records of meetings; investigations, dismissals' division of church; and other church affiliations.


Masonic College of Missouri, Lexington, Missouri, Consecration Program, 1845, (C2860)
1 folder
Order of exercises on 24 June 1845, for consecration of the Masonic College of Missouri in Lexington.

Matthews, Sherman, Papers, 1923-1930, (C4275)
0.4 cubic feet (16 folders)
Kansas City Bridge Company business correspondence of Sherman Matthews and H.M. Jopling. Also Jopling's Nelson High School Physics Experiment workbooks and a standard two-week time book to calculate wages owed, 1923-1930.

Maxwell, A.L., Papers, n.d., (C0745)
1 folder
Pamphlets dealing with the siege and battle of Lexington, MO, and a horse, Lady Wonder, who answers questions. Picture postcard of Seybold Tavern, Excelsior Springs, MO.

McCoy, Joseph, Papers, 1815-1908, (C2144)
2 folders
Eight land deeds (3 to land in St. Louis, 1815-1820; 5 to land in Clark County, 1856-1866). Power of attorney and land purchase receipt, 1844. Daybook of McCoy's business transactions in Waterloo, MO, 1841-1842.

Missouri Ex-POWs Oral History Project, Records, 2000-, (C3975)
Interviews with ex-prisoners of war (POWs). The records include audio cassettes, compact discs, and transcripts.

Missouri Extension Homemakers Association, Inc., "Sacred Stones and Stained Glass Windows," Project, 1977-1980, (C3723)
7.1 cubic feet
Statewide documentation of local churches by county. Includes cultural arts reports, church histories, floor plans, architectural details, clippings, slides, photographs, and miscellany.

Missouri German Heritage Corridor Oral History Project (C4354)
0.4 cubic feet (6 folders, 9 CDs)
The collection consists of interviews with Missourians who have lived in the German Heritage Corridor and have worked to promote and preserve its cultural institutions. The collection includes digitally recorded interviews and transcripts of the interviews.

Missouri Rural Area Development Committee, Records, 1957-1967, (C2583)
1.8 linear feet
The records of the Missouri Rural Area Development Committee are organized into four sections: organization, policy, projects, and progress reports. The Missouri Rural Area Development Committee, directed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was designed to coordinate efforts to revitalize agricultural and natural resources in the rural areas.

Missouri, Confederate Home, Higginsville, History and Cemetery Records, n.d., (C3498)
1 folder
Account of formation of the Confederate Home Association, building of the home, cost, dedication, and takeover by the state. List of inmates and list of men and women buried in the cemetery.

Missouri, Lafayette County, Sheriff's Reward Poster, 1851, (C1775)
1 folder
The collection contains a photostat of a poster announcing a fifty-dollar reward for the capture of John Harbaugh and M. M'Ghee, escaped prisoners.

Modern Woodmen of America, Camp No. 6697, Dunksburg, Missouri, Records, 1899-1953, (C3106)
23 folders, 32 volumes
The Correspondence, reports, and financial material of the Dunksburg, Missouri, chapter of Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternal beneficiary insurance society founded in 1883. Record books have been microfilmed

Moll, Justus R., Maps, 1870, 1915, (C3211)
1 folder
Negative photostat of a map of Greene County, MO, showing roads, Indian trails, villages and mounds, and narrative regarding Indians in Greene County, 1915. Also a copy of a map of the battlefield at Lexington, MO, September 1861, as drawn during court of inquiry in the 1870s.

Morrow, Lynn, Papers, (R1000)
21 cubic feet (964 folders, 4 oversize)
The papers of Lynn Morrow contain correspondence and research papers, with an additional significant collection of late twentieth-century promotional and advertising items. The papers reflect major areas of Morrow’s research on the southwest Missouri region; Iron, Shannon, and Washington counties; Theodore Pease Russell and his writings; and the writings of Silas C. Turnbo. The collection also includes a large selection of promotional publications and ephemera associated with late 20th century tourism in Missouri and Arkansas.

Motte, J.M., "[History of Waverly, Missouri]," n.d., (C0777)
1 folder
A short history of Waverly, Lafayette County, MO.


Presbytery of Missouri, Minutes, 1920-1943, (C1353)
0.2 linear feet
The records contain official copies of minutes of the Presbytery of Missouri. Minutes for 1920-1939 are bound; others are in pamphlet form.

Presbytery of Missouri Records, 1817-1920, (C1354)
1.4 linear feet, 6 oversize volumes
The records of the Presbytery of Missouri contain minutes, reports, and other records of an organization composed of ministers and representative elders of Presbyterian churches in Missouri. Volumes 1-6 have been microfilmed. Volume 7 is available onsite. See also collection C1353.


Ramsay Place Names File 1928-1945, (C2366)
12 cubic feet
Card file of origins of Missouri place names, compiled by students of Robert L. Ramsay, University of Missouri professor of English.

Rehkop, Leonard D. and Marie H., Collection of Algert T. Peterson Photographs, (C3888)
40.4 cubic feet, 18 rolls of microfilm (8670 glass plate negatives, 95 film negatives, 63 photographic prints. Access copies on 18 rolls of microfilm)
The Rehkop/Peterson Collection consists of studio portraits of groups, families, and individuals; and scenes of the Higginsville and Concordia areas in western Missouri. The negatives date from the 1860s to the 1930s.

Rice, Herbert Francis (1901-1963), Papers, 1944-1963, (C2903)
5 folders
The papers of Herbert Francis Rice contain personal correspondence with friends and business associates, largely concerning the Civil War in Missouri; manuscripts of articles by Rice on various Missouri history subjects; newspaper clippings from the Kansas City Times; Rice's obituary; and miscellaneous handbills and programs.

Robins, Fred, Photograph Collection, (P0725)
32 photographs
Photos of Wellington and Lexington, MO, ca. 1920s-1930s, and the Ozark County Times printing office. Photographs of Turners Mill and Dawt Mill. Portraits of people from Lexington.


Santmyer, James R., Photograph Collection, (P0135)
5 photographs
Photo of Rocky Branch Switch Engine, date unknown, with two unnamed men, and several images of a celebration at Higginsville, MO for the centennial of George Washington's inaugeration.

Sawyer, Samuel, Letter, 1822, (C1497)
1 folder
The collection contains a letter to Oliver Parker, Lexington, MO, from New York, NY, Jan. 20, 1822, regarding collection and payment of accounts.

Sawyer, Samuel L. Letters, 1838-1849, (C1833)
1 folder
Letters of a young lawyer from New Hampshire who settled in Missouri. Describes traveling to Missouri, establishing himself, working the court circuits and growth of his family. Also a letter from his father-in-law about the family.

Seiter, Ernestine Ernst Papers (C4351)
1.75 cubic feet (23 folders, 1 oversize item, 1 volume)
Transcription of James and Robert Aull Day and Letter books from 1828-1851. Also includes an unidentified doctor's account ledger from Lexington, Missouri, from 1872-1875 and Ernestine Ernst Seiter scrapbook, research on Lexington homes, postcard, and certificates from 1928-1974.

Skinner, Mrs. Bradley, Postcard Collection, (P0549)
38 postcards
Postcards, the bulk of which depict Higginsville and Odessa. Additional postcards of St. Louis, Butler, Central Methodist University, Schell City, Joplin, and St. Joseph.

Smith, Waddell, Photograph Collection, (P0727)
3 photographs
Images of Baptist Female College, Lexington, MO, and William Waddell.

State Historical Society of Missouri, Audio Cassette Collection, 1976-2000, (C3963)
0.3 linear feet, 34 audio cassettes
The State Historical Society of Missouri Audio Cassette Collection is a collection of miscellaneous interviews, lectures, and speeches collected over the years.

State of Missouri Collection, (P0018)
486 photographs
Over 400 original photos created for the 1904 publication on Missouri at the time of the World's Fair by Walter Williams; shows all aspects and counties in Missouri.

Steinkuehler, Leland, German Dialect Collection, 2005-2008, (CA6096)
1 folder, 8 audio cassettes, 10 CDs
Recordings and accompanying paperwork of interviews done with Missourians of German heritage from Concordia, Loose Creek, Westphalia, and St. Elizabeth, Missouri, as well as visitors from Meerbusch, Germany. Includes a comparison of dialects between three interviewees. The interviews were conducted by Leland Steinkuehler. Addition of recordings of a Lutheran Church service conducted in Low German and a narration with English translations by Reverend Alfred W. Rodewald, 2009.


The Missouri Collection (C3982)
17.9 cubic feet, 9 audio cassettes, 3 audio discs, 9 CDs, 1 computer disc, 1 film, 6 film strips, 3 DVDs, 2 video cassettes (791 folders, 21 oversize ite
The Missouri Collection is an artificial collection combining miscellaneous small acquisitions related to Missouri places, individuals, organizations, and events.

Tilton, M. Vance, Photograph Collection, (P0730)
1 folder
Photos of Higginsville residents in the early 1900s.


U.S. Selective Service System, Missouri, Records, 1917-1918, (C2681)
445 folders negative Photostats, 8.7 cubic feet
Lists of persons by county and district selective service boards whose cards were held by those boards. Arranged alphabetically by county.

U.S. Work Projects Administration, "Church Bibliography, Baptist Bodies of Missouri, Associational Minutes," 1941, (C1312)
1 volume
The collection contains a list of the various Baptist associations in Missouri and the dates for which their records are in existence.

U.S. Work Projects Administration, Historical Records Survey, Missouri, 1935-1942, (C3551)
302 linear feet; also available on 817 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, records, and working files. Originally designed to survey and inventory all county government records, the survey finally included inventories of church records, manuscript collections, vital statistics, American imprints, and federal archives. Incorporates records of the Federal Writers Project for Missouri.

United Daughters of the Confederacy, Betty Shelby Chapter, Records, (CA6190)
13 volumes
Scrapbooks of the United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter #2319, founded in Waverly, Missouri, in 1962. Cover years 1973-1986.

University of Missouri, Agricultural Extension Service, Records, 1908-1963, (C2513)
1.5 linear feet
The records of the University of Missouri Agricultural Extension Service contain histories, letters, reports, memoranda, speeches, maps, publications, newspaper articles, and pictures concerning Missouri Agricultural Extension Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture policies; agricultural, home economics, and 4-H extension work; and the College of Agriculture.


van Ravenswaay, Charles (1911-1990), Papers, 1841-1990, (C3873)
21.8 linear feet, 1 audio cassette
Correspondence, research notes, photographs, and literary manuscripts of historian and author Charles van Ravenswaay, former director of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts; and the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum and Gardens, Wilmington, Delaware.


Wade, J.D. (1894-1966), Papers, (CA6386)
1 cubic foot
Papers of an employee of Service Pipeline Company from Odessa and Carrollton, Missouri, largely consist of personal account ledgers detailing daily expenses. Also included is a small amount of Service Pipeline and Standard Oil material and miscellaneous material.

Wallace, C.T., Album, (P0309)
64 photographs
64 black and white matte photographs, mostly 5x7, showing views of mainly Pettis, Lafayette and Saline counties. Includes images relating to the Methodist church, cats, farming, the Missouri Pacific Railroad, rivers and creeks.

West Freedom Telephone Company, Concordia, Missouri, Records, (CA5324)
0.4 linear feet
Constitution, bylaws, minutes, financial records, incorporation papers, and stock certificates of the company. The materials date from 1904 and end about 1960.

Withers, Ethel Massie, Scrapbook, ca. 1916, (C1440)
0.3 linear feet
The Ethel Massie Withers Scrapbook is an album of photographic copies of lantern slides used to illustrate the Missouri Daughters of the American Revolution lecture, Pioneering in Missouri, 1916. The scrapbook also includes a copy of the lecture, written by Ethel Massie Withers, with explanations of the photographs. The lantern slides are located in the Editorial Department of the State Historical Society of Missouri.